January 6, 2023 Laplace, La.
The Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative (LICI) held its last iris rescue of the 2022-2023 rescue and planting season on Thursday, January 5, 2023. The Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life (ISJL), organized a visit of forty 8th-grade and high school students from Houston for a tour of Jewish life and history in New Orleans, which also included two half-days of service work with Common Ground Relief, a local non-profit that specializes in marsh restoration work. Common Ground Relief included LICI's iris rescue event in the planned activities Thursday morning for the group. In addition, a Boy Scout troop from Hammond, La came out to help as LICI volunteers.
The volunteers are shown getting ready to start work.
The site where the iris rescue was held is located in a rural area west of New Orleans an Interstate interchange. Its zoned for commercial development, is permitted, and is for sale. The owner has encouraged us to get the irises out to use in our iris restoration projects.
The volunteers are seen working hard digging irises.
Typically LICI plants irises from their summer and fall rescue events into containers at the group's iris-holding area in New Orleans, where they grow and strengthened up in containers for two or three months before being planted out into the swamps and marshes. However, since it is late in the season and the irises are in full winter growth mode, these irises can be planted directly into the Louisiana Iris Conservation Initiative's iris restoration projects, according to LICI's Gary Salathe. "We have plans to have all of the irises we have rescued at this event planted within two weeks," he said.
The group was able to collect 2,500 I. giganticaerulea species of the Louisiana iris. The irises were put into temporary storage at LICI's New Orleans iris holding area on Friday. They will be used in their iris restoration projects over the next few weeks.